A State that Took over Society

You can bring the rich to the level of the poor overnight but it takes a lifetime to lift the poor to the level of the rich.
– Irish proverb
During the 1970s, Pakistan went in for wholesale nationalization of its private enterprises, taking even educational institutions into the state’s hands. This was a move laden with far-reaching and unforeseeable consequences. Some are still being unveiled today. It changed not only the economic and political, but also the social, intellectual and moral landscape of the country for generations to come.
The story began in 1968, with a political movement basing

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Politics and the destruction of our cities

Years back, I sent an article titled, “Nationalization of social and moral values in Pakistan,” to a newspaper. It did publish but with entirely a different title. The new title, “A state that took over society” aptly described what that article was about. Now when I want to write about the destruction of our cities by the political elites in their bid to impress the citizens as voters, I cannot think of a better title than the present one. First I thought of this one: “Preserving the older cities.” However, both the …

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